August brought with it some small but welcome increases in species and points for most contestants in the Irish Minileague yet Dave Suddaby at Blacksod remains in top spot with both the highest overall points and points per bird to date. Niall Keogh at Kilcoole still maintains his comfortable lead with regards numbers of species recorded but still only affording him 2nd place. Julian Wyllie at Baltimore looks to be a contender for one of the final top spots in the league slipping past Neal Warnock at Larne Lough by 5 points to take 3rd place. Other movers on the table include Tom Moore at Kilmore upping his game from 8th to 7th and Paul Walsh at Brownstown Head moving from 14th to 12th.
Positions on the percentage table remain the exact same as last month. The O'Donnells both hit their 100% target in August with Eamonn at Ninch/Laytown taking the lead with an impressive 107.2%
August was always going to throw up a few good seabirds for some of the coastal patchers as was the case with Julian in Baltimore where finds of both Cory's Shearwater and Sabine's Gull provided a welcome 12 points between them. Similarly, a rare spell of good East coast seawatching weather in late August resulted in a fine juvenile Long-tailed Skua for Eamonn from his perch on Ben Head, another 6 pointer. A showy Osprey at Lurgangreen found by Peter Phillips proved popular with local birders and photographers whilst confirmed breeding of Spotted Flycatchers at Holy Cross & Carriganore was the first such record on Darragh Sinnott's patch. The Little Tern colony at Niall's Kilcoole patch ended their breeding season with the most successful on record, 120 pairs raising 219 young to fledging.
For more news and pics from Irish local patches check out the Patch Birding Ireland blog.